16 February 2009

Adults today are so rude and disrespectful!

We are coming out of the market this morning, the children a little ahead of me as usual. Morgan pushes at a big heavy door, but she can't manage it on her own. She looks over at Jenna and says, "Hewp pweese! 'Cuse me! Hewp!"

"I'll get it!" Jenna opens the door and stands holding it for her sister.

Another adult pushes past Morgan and goes out of the door, glancing at Jenna holding it open but saying nothing. Morgan beams at Jenna and says, "ag-you Nenna!"

They hold the door, together, waiting for me. Then they spontaneously join hands and walk like that for a few minutes. Jenna raises Morgan's hand and kisses it and they grin at each other again. I haven't said a word to either of them - I don't need to.

But there is plenty I COULD say...

It isn't the only time adults in a hurry push past us in one short morning. It happens all the time. Some of them even tut, or say things like, "out of the WAY!" None of them think of saying "excuse me" to a small child. After all, small children don't understand that sort of thing, or aren't worthy of it, right? Nor is it the first time that someone doesn't notice when Jenna holds a door open. Which she does. A lot.

She doesn't notice or care, to be honest, whether or not anyone sees her being helpful. She doesn't even point it out to *me*, or expect me to say anything about it. But that doesn't mean I don't personally fume to see folks just ignore her - after all, how many of them would think it was OK prompt her to thank THEM if they did something for HER?

My children are not always paragons of virtue in the way they speak to other people (neither am I). And they are frequently in their own little worlds and don't notice when someone else is annoyed with them (um, taking after me again) or when their behaviour isn't quite in tune with everyone else's (ie the library, where I gently point to the people silently working as we walk through the more formal areas, whispering, "I think these people would be happier with quiet!"). But mostly, they do actually care about other people and how they feel, and they remember silly adult rules like saying sorry for getting in someone's way even though nobody is actually *hurt* by the brief pavement-dance...

They have learnt by example. By the adults that they see around them.

So if, as I keep hearing, "children these days" are rude, demanding, inconsiderate... Well, who are they watching? Could it possibly be that they see more people push past them and tut than they do people who actually treat THEM as worthy of respect? Could it BE that they see more people demanding better service than they do waiting patiently and treating shop-workers like human beings? Could it be that they get TOLD to say thankyou far more often than they hear a grown-up saying it?

6 comments:

  1. Oh I so totally agree with you here. We seem to live in a much ruder and "Jack" society now - I don't like it one little bit. Gggggrrrrr

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  2. I could have written that wee rant myself Sarah. It irritates the heck out of me; also irritates me when people bump into Rye and they just tut and move off.. no apologies or anything. People are just so rude to young children.

    I bumped a little girl over in the park today, I just didn't see her as I went to help Rye on the slide. I found it a bit sad that the mum was quick to tell me it "was ok".. it wasn't, I'd knocked the poor girl down, so I made sure I bent down to her level and apologised for knocking her down.... she looked suprised and then smiled shyly at me. I guess not many adults apologise to her.

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  4. I so agree with all of you, it bugs me too. What got me more was the bloke who just let the heavy door swing at my eldest (he's only 3), thankfully I caught it before it knocked him over. Best response from Edward "that was naughty, you hold doors for people"...

    I try and make sure I say thankyou to 'anyone' who holds a door for me, regardless of age and I also apologise if I bump into someone, it's how I was brought up and I hope I'm a credit to my Mum. I'm also trying to do the same with my two. It's good manners, respectful and makes everyone happier.

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  5. Yes, yes, yes - we've had it too. Sometimes it seems just the mere fact that your children are walking about on their own and not strapped into a buggy is cause of concern for most adults. Like you say are small children not people too? To treat them with such is awesome because you get so much back in return it really is overwhelming! x

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  6. I agree,people have no concept of manners these days! It seems acceptable to act totally disrespectfully to those younger,or older,or just generally at a disadvantage from oneself. Don't even get me started on people who don't give their seats up to pregnant women and te elderly either - as someone who had to travel from Dublin to belfast at 6 months pregnant, sitting on the floor in front of a train toilet...gahh!

    Your children are lovely and polite and could teach a lot of people ten times their age some lessons!

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Penny for your thoughts? :)